6/23/2006

Field page: Bioinformatics

Description

Ever since Watson and Crick, we've been working to more fully understand the genetic code that is inside each of us. This has led to massive sequencing efforts such as the Human Genome Project. There's a problem, though. The amount of data is actually too big to do much with. It would be somewhat implausible to, for example, test every single bit of DNA to find out what it did.

That's where bioinformatics steps in. As with mathematical Information Theory, it more or less ignores the actual function of the DNA in question, instead working solely with ideas and concepts that either can be deduced de novo from sequence data or take very little extra knowledge.

Aside: apparently, depending on one's definition, bioinformatics can be used as a synonym for CB. Obviously that's not how I'm using it here.

Problem Solved

OK, so we've got all this sequence data - now what can we do with it without actually having to triple our departmental budget for labwork?

Books/Resources

None yet

Posts

A real-life academic ethics dilemma
Surprisingly non-scary
Sequence comparison

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